Your Guide to the Best Commercial Slushy Machines

Slushy Machine Buying Guide

Slushy machines could be a fantastic addition to your crowd-pleasing arsenal of drinks. They work for both adults and children and can give you the upper hand you need, regardless of your business. Offering people the chance to get top-notch frozen cocktails, smoothies, or slushies is something that’s much easier with a commercial slushy machine, sometimes also called a SLURPEE® machine.

In the following buying guide, we'll show you a few factors you should take into consideration when you shop around for slush devices. Afterward, we'll tackle the types of machines you can choose from and lastly, the costs you should expect when you own one.

1. Vital Factors

Triple Bowl Slushy Machine

There are slushy machines and granita machines that fill automatically by drawing the mix from a bag. Others need to be filled by hand. This isn’t a problem per se, but rather a consideration when you think about the scale of customers that you serve. hen the filling is manual, you need to make the mix yourself.

These types of machines are called "pour over". They're faster than making slushies in a blender, but basically, you'll do everything an automatically-filling slushy machine does on its own with this type of machine. This makes pour-over machines less desirable and more “cheap” slush machines compared to automatic machines. Even if you like to work with your hands, this won't be very effective when there are tens of people waiting for their beverages.


How much is a slush machine’s holding volume, or capacity? Slush machines come in different sizes, which obviously means that their capacity differs, as well. You should take a look at the number of bowls they have because this figure has a direct impact on the number of cups you'll be able to produce within an hour.

A 3-bowl slushy machine has a capacity of 8 gallons. A 2-bowl one features a capacity of 6 gallons and a 1-bowl machine has a maximum capacity of 3 gallons. The OZ servings should also be of interest to you.

Gallons10 oz. cups12 oz. cups16 oz. cups
Max. 3Max. 38/hMax. 32/hMax. 24/h
Max. 6Max. 77/hMax. 64/hMax. 48/h
Max. 8Max. 102/hMax. 85/hMax. 64/h


Not all slush machines are the same, so don't expect to get the same variety of beverages from whatever type of slush machine you buy. If you want a slush-maker that can produce granitas, then make sure the product you're looking at can do that.

2 Barrel Cocktail Machine

Most slushy machines only make slushies, which are a mix of ice and flavor. Others can make alcoholic beverages like frozen margaritas or daiquiris, but we highly suggest you use a frozen cocktail machine if you plan on serving frozen treats with alcohol. One thing you should know about these is that you'll get less slush per hour because alcohol makes the freeze time slower.

And make sure you are in compliance with the law: some areas won't allow you to make frozen cocktails with your slush drink machines. If everything's okay, you only need some good granita and you're good to go.

PRO Tip: The machines that make slush are properly equipped to produce their own ice. Refrain from putting ice in them, because there's a risk you'll break a few components. Many owners do this mistake and then regret it.

Let's take a look at the 3 types of machines and their respective pros and cons.

PouroverEasier maintenance 
Easy to operate
Time-consuming since you need to make the mix and pour it down into the machine.
Auto-fill with liquid               Requires little to no involvement from employees. It’s not really portable because it needs to be connected to a pump.
Auto-fill with powder                     Requires little to no involvement from employees.Like the previous one, it needs to be connected to a pump in order to get its water.

2. Cost of Owning a Slush Business

Granita machines or slush machines can bring pretty good revenue to your account on a monthly basis. Still, you should be familiar with the costs of owning them, in the first place.

So, how much is a slushy machine? We’re not talking about the kind you buy at home to serve one or two people: we’re talking about commercial machines. You can expect to spend anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars when buying a high-quality commercial slush machine or SLURPEE® machine.

Knowing the costs beforehand is extremely effective because it allows you to find out how you can cut them down.

Aside from your initial cost to buy the machine, these are the main costs associated with owning a business that sells frozen cocktails, slush, and smoothies:


Slushy machines that require manual filling can break down more often than the ones that fill up automatically. This way, they're a lot costlier than the latter. If you want to increase your profits and decrease your expenses, consider an auto-filling machine.

Single Bowl Slushy Machine

You should be familiar with the fact that many manual-filling machines can be transformed into automatically-filling ones with individual kits you can purchase from a variety of sources on the Internet.

This investment will increase your ROI and decrease the risk of having to repair the machine every month. A maintenance kit can be very handy if you decide not to go with an automatically-filling machine.

The Mixes

Consider purchasing high quantities of slushy mix at once. By doing this, you could get a discount.

Most mixes can be bought in bags or jugs. On one hand, you'll be having more mix, so you'll be able to sell more slushies. On the other hand, you won't run out of the mix when you least expect it.

Plus, jugs and bags, especially if purchased in a higher number, can come with decent discounts that will chop off a good chunk of the initial price. If you have a machine that requires the mix to be made manually, you'll lose time and money.

First of all, purchasing the ingredients individually is a lot costlier than purchasing the already-made mix. Second of all, you must have a thorough understanding of the quantities. Again, this can waste a lot of the time you could use selling.

The Accessories

By accessories, we mean cups, drinking straws and if necessary, lids for the cups in which your frozen beverages will be served. In small quantities, the expense won't be that impressive, but when you own a granita machines business, you'll need to purchase these in bulk.

Don't worry, though. Disposable cups aren't as expensive as you might think. A 24 OZ cup, for instance, which is pretty huge, costs somewhere around 0.07 dollars. Again, like in the case of the mixes, buying in bulk will always be more cost-effective.

If you want to get a sense of the total cost of having such a business, you should use this calculator. In a matter of minutes, you'll get the total sum, so you won't need to do every calculus by yourself, as it's a time-consuming and boring chore.

3. Maintenance of the Slush-Makers

Due to the fact that they are usually put in open spaces, so the public can get to them easily, these machines are prone to getting all sorts of bacteria, dirt, and debris. It is crucial to clean them, if not every day, at least thrice a week.

Slushy Machine Part

It can so happen that you have machines that can make dairy products, as well. In this case, you should take your time to clean them each day, because milk can leave a sour aftertaste that will be felt in every cup of slushy you serve.

The movable parts of the machine should be rinsed thoroughly. Make sure you don't forget the drip tray, where most of the bacteria will be. All of these considerations make it important to find a slushie maker that’s easy to clean in the time constraints of your business.

If you have any reason to believe the water that goes into the smoothies is unsanitary, consider investing in a water filtration system that filters the water before it goes into the tank. Such a system won't help only with filtering it, but it will also keep your machine away from lime sediments and scale.

These two can make your device malfunction, and it can be pretty costly to repair it. You know what they say: better be safe than sorry. A water purifier is warmly recommended if you want to save some good money in the long run.

4. Considerations Regarding the Design

Double Bowl Slushy Machine

Functionality is a lot more important than design, of course, but you shouldn't underestimate the latter, anyway. A machine with swirling colors and a transparent screen that allows customers to see how the magic is happening can get you a long way.

Colorful things attract customers like shiny ones attract magpies. Not to mention the impact that your machines will have on children, who will definitely drag their parents to them. This will make a big difference in your overall profit.

5. Make Sure to Choose Your Slush Machine Carefully

Having a slushy business can be highly profitable, provided you do everything by the book. If you're considering opening one, keep this guide handy. You'll get back to it a few times until you're 100% prepared to deal with everything on your own.

The most important thing you have to focus on is the type of slush-maker you get. We advise you to get one that fills up automatically because it saves money and time. Of course, the decision is yours.

We hope this guide has included everything you wanted to know about owning a frozen drink machine business. As you can see, there are quite a few things to keep an eye on, but once you're familiar with them, it will be easier to manage your business.

6. Where Can I Buy a Slushy Machine for My Business?

Looking for a high-quality slushy machine that offers the capacity, durability, reliability, and overall functionality you need to make running your business easier and more profitable? Look no further than GoFoodservice for your next commercial frozen SLURPEE® machine! We can help you choose the right machine for the job.


  1. comment authorLady Drinks Jul 8, 2020

    Thank You so much for this info & wish me luck!

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    Good luck with your Slushy Machine journey! :)

  2. comment authorNancy bonrud Jul 15, 2020

    Can you put sodas ,coke, in the machines?

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    Hi Nancy! Yes, you can use sodas as long as they aren't diet. We recommend using refrigerated soda to speed up the freezing process :)

  3. comment authorBill Black Oct 6, 2020

    Do you need to buy wine slushee mix or just bottled wine. If so what is the cost. I’m considering the single tank counter top model.

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    The short answer is yes. But due to the alcohol content, it will require the temperature to be lower, at least 13° and it will take longer to freeze than standard slushy or granita mixes. Because of this, using a wine mix over blended ice is the preferred method of making wine a slushy or froze. If you chose to use a granita machine, standard operating temperature may vary per manufacturer, so it will need to be checked before placing an order on a specific model.

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